Day: May 18, 2018

[FAST FORWARD] In Moscow Tonight – Freedom of Press

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Perfidy is #Hamas’ latest war crime @AmnestyNZ @golrizghahraman silent?

From https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/opinion/hamas-israel-media-protests.html?

Perfidy is specifically prohibited under the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, which states:

  1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy:
    (a) The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender;
    (b) The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness;
    (c) The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and
    (d) The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.


The “Talking Points” Are Plain Leftist Propaganda

Matti Friedman, a journalist and the author of the excellent memoir Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War, reminds us of this story from the 2008 Gaza War:

“Early in that war, I complied with Hamas censorship in the form of a threat to one of our Gaza reporters and cut a key detail from an article: that Hamas fighters were disguised as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll. The bureau chief later wrote that printing the truth after the threat to the reporter would have meant “jeopardizing his life.” Nonetheless, we used that same casualty toll throughout the conflict and never mentioned the manipulation.”

The consequences were dire:

“Hamas understood that Western news outlets wanted a simple story about villains and victims and would stick to that script, whether because of ideological sympathy, coercion or ignorance. The press could be trusted to present dead human beings not as victims of the terrorist group that controls their lives, or of a tragic confluence of events, but of an unwarranted Israeli slaughter. The willingness of reporters to cooperate with that script gave Hamas the incentive to keep using it.”

American Elephants

Democrats operate on “talking points” which are supplied by their wordsmiths.  They depend on controlling the conversation, and if many speak in the same words, their “talking point” dominates. The more it is repeated, the stronger it becomes. It is, of course, all about power and control. It’s simply pure propaganda, a weapon in their political goal.

Whoever sends out the “talking points” managed to screw up rather badly yesterday, attempting to turn Israel’s celebration of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the legitimate capitol of their country by moving our embassy there into a negative. Trump was wrecking the “Peace  Plan.” President Trump has sent Jared Kushner and Ivanka to Jerusalem as his representatives. Of course Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza, arranged a major demonstration, hoping to breach the wall and kill large numbers of Jews. Hamas pays residents of Gaza to demonstrate, and women and…

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This is what productivity means

Andrew Leighi is such a good economist that I wince when I watch him on TV having to defend crass political positions as a labour MP

croaking cassandra

Presbyterian Support Northern is hosting a series of lectures on different aspects relevant to the wellbeing of children.  The first lectures were given by Australian Labor MP, and former economics professor, Andrew Leigh.  I wrote about his lectures here.

I was asked to speak on something around productivity and the wellbeing of children (thus there are huge areas highly relevant to child wellbeing that I simply don’t touch on).  This was how my talk opened.

Imagine a country in which the average age at death was only about 45, 6 per cent of children died before their first birthday, and another 1.5 per cent before they turned five.  Not many children are vaccinated.

Most kids get to primary school –  in fact it is compulsory –  but only a minority attend secondary school.  By age 15 not much more than 15 per cent of young people are still at…

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The failure of the success sequence

Family Inequality

This essay was originally published as part of a forum on the success sequence sponsored by the Cato Institute, featuring Michael Tanner, Isabel Sawhill, and Brad Wilcox.

The success sequence is often (mistakenly) attributed to the 2009 book Creating an Opportunity Society by the Brookings Institution’s Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill. “First comes education,” they wrote. “Then comes a stable job that pays a decent wage, made decent by the addition of wage supplements and work supports if necessary. Finally comes marriage, followed by children.” They called for “marketing campaigns and educational programs to change social norms: to bring back the success sequence as the expected path for young Americans.”

The only issue here is marriage, as the rest is obvious to everyone. And in that regard this model of social change is wholly unproven and without precedent. Seat belt laws and anti-smoking campaigns, always cited by success sequence advocates…

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